One of the things most emerging nonprofit leaders struggle with is balance. We wear many hats in our multifaceted roles. The pulls on us come from those we supervise, those we are accountable to, those we are trying to engage and those trying to engage us. Add in a personal life and all the demands of relationships, families, financial management, home maintenance and on and on. Where do you find time to breathe, let alone live and enjoy life?
We all know this pattern of busyness is a productivity trap, not to mention a mental and physical health risk. Getting off the treadmill, however, is easier said than done.
In becoming more physically active after 50, I learned that whenever exercise challenges my physical body’s balance, it’s time to start thinking about what I’m doing with my “core.” It took me years to appreciate that for many people – myself definitely included — it takes lots of practice to learn to consistently access the complex of muscles that stabilize, support and protect us in everything we do. Whether at a gym, field, course, court, yoga mat or anywhere else we make big demands of our bodies, balance must be an active pursuit. When we engage our core we perform successfully and safely. When we don’t, we fall short and frequently find ourselves with an injury.
It stands to reason that this concept has a parallel that is just as true in serious professional pursuits as it is in physically strenuous activities.
- What are the “core muscles” of your professional life?
- What does it feel like when you throw yourself out of whack by not engaging them sufficiently?
- Today, how can you incorporate these practices in your life, even a tiny bit better than you did yesterday?